Personal Relationship Management: Guide, History and List of Popular Apps

What Is Personal Relationship Manager? When did they start? Which one is the best? In this article, we'll answer all of those questions.

A brief history of Personal Relationship Managers

When did it all start?

Before the internet

Before the internet, our social circles just were not that big. We did not have 400 Facebook friends, 500 LinkedIn connections and so on. Those who did have such networks were rich and could afford personal assistants to help them with the tasks we are today trying to delegate to relationship management software.

With the internet

As software started to eat the world, corporate relationship management tools started to appear. The most popular today are apps like Salesforce or Hubspot. Those tools solved a genuine problem for big corporations who relied on Excel spreadsheets up to then. Problems included:

  • It was difficult to know who told what & when to which customer
  • It was difficult to define who was responsible for which customer
  • Using spreadsheets just wasn't appropriate and make the work difficult.

That's why up to today, Salesforce is simply a better looking spreadsheet. CRMs aren't magic by default. They simply allow you to log interactions, move clients along funnels, set reminders and deal sizes. Nothing magical.

Salesforce demo

Here is a screenshot of a Salesforce dashboard

As the internet matured

In recent years, we've seen new types of smart CRMs appear. Intelligent features include the ability to sync data with emails, automations (for ex. if you set a deal size, the customer is moved to the next stage of the funnel), data enrichment and so on.

What about Personal Relationship Managers?

The oldest personal relationship manager was probably a spreadsheet. With time, the Internet disrupted every industry and more and more people would meet and know more and more people. This made the I-feel-like-I'm-losing-touch problem critical for not just the super-rich, but more and more managers, investors, consultants and generally professionals.

What exactly is a Personal Relationship Manager?

The logic is simple. As CRMs have proven themselves to be extremely effective in managing clients, there is no reason not to implement this successful experience in your own professional and personal life.

A personal relationship manager is a business tool that allows users to organise their contacts in order to improve their network and grow and nurture both business and personal relations.

Why do you need a Personal Relationship Manager?

When it comes to success and personal growth, you have to think long term. Forging relationships is foundational to such a far-sighted strategy. Entrepreneurs spend countless hours thinking about how they can improve their business, there is no reason professionals shouldn't do the same about improving their relationships and network.

As says David A. Fields:

Relationships are everything. I define wealth as relationship strength.

Ask yourself this question: Do you have many contacts and connections that could potentially generate a lot of opportunities for you? Just look at LinkedIn, if you were in touch with all of your connections, how would things be different? How many more partnerships, job offers or ideas would you get?

If you want to increase efficiency, become more organised, and increase your income than you definitely need to consider personal relationship manager. Nowadays such a system may be useful for any person from real estate agent to top manager of a large enterprise.

How do personal relationship management apps work?

The basic personal relationship manager works like this:

  1. You import your contact list (either manually via a CSV file or through a Google Contacts integration for example)
  2. You log interactions with your contacts as they happen
  3. You set reminders to reach out to contacts
  4. Once you get the reminders, you reach out.

At Nat, we find this approach very time-consuming and inefficient, but it works well for some people. While more modern CRMs include more automation, the approach stays relatively the same.

Personal Relationship Management apps that are being used in 2020

Benefits of using a tool to manage your network

We get asked this question all the time: What are the real measurable benefits of using a tool like Dex, Uphabit or Covve?

You get a clear overview over your network

Only the greatest CEOs and sales people are able to answer those questions:

  • What is the real size of your network?
  • How many people are in your close circles?
  • Who are you losing touch with right now?

Originally, the way to answer those questions was to have personal assistants who would analyse contact books and email interactions to figure out those things. Excellent networkers would also spend countless hours writing notes about people that they would store physically!

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Writing notes about contacts

Rockfeller is famous for spending a lot of time writing notes about the people he knew: Birthdays, Family member's names and so on.

How to write notes today

Writing on small paper cards that you would store somewhere is a bit outdated. Instead, you'll want to store information about the people you know digitally. That's a big part of the value a Personal Relationship Manager will provide to you.

Thus, make sure to choose a personal relationship manager based on the quality of their note-taking system. Nat allows users to write notes simply by replying to emails sent by their CRM app. This means you can take notes simply from your email client. Levitate has done this nicely as well by asking users to write notes about recent events every time they log into the app.

Input is good, output is great!

Only writing notes is good, but how will you leverage this new information about your contacts? You don't want your precious data to just be stored somewhere in the cloud. Instead, you want this data to be resurfaced when you need it!

When choosing a relationship manager, look for good search features that allow you to search for a contact based on notes. Also look for tools that resurface those notes before your next meeting with that person!

Full list of all the Personal Relationship Management apps for 2020

There are quite a few apps to help you manage your personal and professional relationships. Find out about all of them here.

Checklist

Currently live

Personal relationship managers that you can sign up to right away. Upcoming apps are listed further down.

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Mogul Networking

Mogul has been a live IOS app for over two years. Recently, it's solo-founder has also launched a web version.

Beautiful design

Mogul really stands out by it's beautiful design. It's also one of the reasons the founder decided to build this app: because he cares about beauty and couldn't find another app that was looking as good.

Completely manual

Mogul does not offer any integrations or automations. You will have to log every interaction manually.

Pricing

After a 7-day free trial, Mogul offers an annual or monthly pricing of 100 and 10 respectively.

Covve

Built at the edge of Europe, in Cyprus, Covve has been going for quite a few years as well. Having raised multiple rounds, their team has been iterating and improving their app consistently.

News about contacts

Besides enriching your contact data, Covve looks at the news and finds articles that have been written about your contacts. That way you're always informed about what's going on with your contacts.

Not very user-friendly

The app is quite slow and not super intuitive to use. They're also changing things quite a lot all the time, which means you'll discover a new app every time you sign in.

Pricing

Besides their generous free plan, Covve offers a monthly pricing of 7.5$ for their premium features.

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Uphabit

Built by a Canadian serial-entrepreneur, Uphabit is probably the biggest team building a crm app for personal use.

Semi-automatic contact enrichment

Uphabit has this nice feature where you can search for your contacts on LinkedIn and their Linkedin profile url will automatically get pulled into your contact view.

Clunky, complex and privacy-risky.

So many buttons, so many colours. You just don't know how to use it. While they do offer a gmail integration, they require a read access to your emails..

Pricing

Besides their generous free plan, Uphabit offers an annual plan of 30$ for their premium features.

Monica

Monica is the grand-mother of personal relationship management apps. It's extremely simple but has inspired most competitors.

Open-source and self-served options

If you don't want your data to be in the cloud, Monica is open-source. This means you can copy their code and run your own Monica app. Development knowledge required.

Extremely time-consuming

For each contact, you will spend at least 3 minutes specifying your exact relationship with the contact and their relationship with your other contacts. Expected a full week of work plus a few hours per week of maintenance.

Pricing

Free if self hosted and 9$ per month otherwise with an annual plan of 90$.

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Waiting list

To create hype or because they aren't ready yet, some apps choose to offer a waiting list only. Those are listed below.

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Clay

This secretive and apparently well-funded startup from NYC has built quite some hype on Twitter.

Magic search feature

You can input complex queries like "software engineer I worked with" and Clay will find out who was an an engineer and worked at the same company as you.

Waiting-list

Difficult to know what exact features they're building behind closed curtains. Also, it seems like they only onboard blue-tick Twitter users.

Pricing

Clay offers a flat 15$ per month pricing.